This is the time of year when people seem to talk most about changing something they are doing, either doing it better, or less, or more, or not at all. “In the New Year, I will…” the proclamations go, but then a week or so later, things are still being done pretty much the same way all in all… Is that you? I hope the answer is no.
“All change begins with a decision. You made a decision that took you into whatever it is that is destroying you, and getting out of it, also requires a decision…”
These are words of Dr A.R. Bernard, taken from notes I wrote down years ago. I will share a few more today as I know many of you are starting to consider your New Year “resolutions” which I think for an entrepreneur, we should instead call “goals.” Let’s talk!
__Not just for the Senior Class: What is your own goal-setting #process? Do you write them down?
“The moment you make a decision to change, you are energized. Decision means you have passed judgment on the issue under consideration. You cannot embrace the new, unless you pass judgement on the old.
Decision must be followed by dedication; in other words, you must be devoted to that change that you have decided to make in your life.
The third component is discipline. Discipline is the bridge between a thought, and its accomplishment.”
What is the hardest part about discipline for you? Is it believing in yourself? Thinking your dreams seem impossible to achieve?
“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the #mindset of the oppressed,” said Steve Biko, the late South African anti-Apartheid activist, in a paraphrased quote I know most of you have heard before.
# There are many challenges in life, but do not be imprisoned by your own thoughts and fears.
We know there are people around us with a #mindset that tends to see problems and wait for others to solve them. There are others, like many of you entrepreneurs on this page, with a problem-solving #mindset, even amidst huge challenges around you.
__Entrepreneurs, visionaries, creators, innovators, inventors: Many of you right here are the hope of the continent and the world! I am not exaggerating. And many of you are indeed already busy transforming thoughts to accomplishments. (Read somewhere recently: “The road to success is always under construction!”)
Now looking forward with that thought to the New Year ahead, let me mention a couple of exciting things happening in January that will kick off our entrepreneurial year. First, I will be taking part in a “co-creation” conversation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, 24 January with Mr Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara International (the largest crop nutrient company in the world, based in Norway).
We’ll be talking together and also listening to others’ ideas about a new agri-food youth entrepreneurship initiative we’re calling “Generation Africa.” I’ll tell you more about it soon. I hope we’ll be able to livestream the conversation here, and if some of you are in Davos, perhaps there’s still some way for you to attend in person.
Secondly, I wanted to let you know about a new pan-African entrepreneurship competition sponsored by Alibaba founder, Jack Ma. His team approached me and asked that I bring it to your attention as they have been following our discussions on this platform.
Applications will open next month and close sometime in April. Check out: http://
“Either you will lead change, or change will lead you. And if you want to take my advice, you lead,” said Dr Bernard, “because when change leads, it may take you where you do not want to go. Your ability to lead change will determine your success in life.”
Happy New Year.